The First Ever Meeting of the Lisu with the Indian Army in 1961

The following details were elicited from Mr Daliwu, a 90 year old retired pastor of Shidi (Gandhigram) village, interviewed in his house on the 29th January 2016. He has seen when the batch of the Srijitga Expedition team arrived Shidi on the 7th May 1961. His wife, Mrs Mathaye who was present that day added few additional information.


· Prior to arrival of the Srijitga Expedition team, several flights frequented over the Shidi area. Villagers waved them with their cloths.


· Then on Sunday, the 7th May 1961, while having the church service (the church building was then located at Ngwashodi’s residence plot) two new people came who happened to be language interpreters of the team. One was a Lisu person named Ngwadi and the other was Pisilah Singpho (father of Pisigam Singpho).

· The two men were sent by the commanding army officer, Major Sumer Singh, the leader of the team to spy the people. They were instructed to check who the people were. If they are enemy, they were to quickly return to him.

· In the meantime, Major Sumer Singh watched from a distance, near the present Shidi football ground (near the baptismal area of the Noa Dihing river).

· After the initial introduction, the whole villagers went with the two men toward the baptismal area to meet the army officer. They were surprised to see about 30 jawans in military dress and 30 porters in “servant dress” come out from their hide outs from across the river. A dark skinned “phone person” was among them and he was very pleased to find the whole villagers were Christians. Hence he developed a bond as Christians with the villagers and when returning back, he very reluctantly joined the team.

· And in traditional manner, the villagers welcomed them with handshake and provided “kocho”.

· The team then camped near the current Christmas venue during their stay in the village.

· Then the team provided a party for the whole villagers. Sortie dropped ration and lambs for the party and for their provisions.

· The army officer said you live without government but your pastor and church serve as leaders. They were informed we belong to a Christian sect called Church of Christ.

· The Army Officer appointed Choagu (Diajo’s father) as Gaon Borah for the village. Another person, Loacha (P. Yobin’s father) was slated to be appointed as GB for the lower part of the village but for reasons unknown that did not happen.

· The team wanted to go upto Dawodi (now Vijoynagar). Two villagers, namely Loawi alias Akhi Yeliye (father of N. Yobin) and another person (did not get his name) accompanied them as guide.

· A memorial was engraved on a stone to mark their arrival in the village, located just above the football ground. Due to river erosion it was once shifted but later it was completely washed away and permanently disappeared.


· The team stayed 7 days at Shidi and went back.

· Two Lisu men, Late Diajo (Losifa’s father) and Phamatse, went with the team for study at Khonsa. Unfortunately, they returned home soon after without pursuing further education.

· For the team, ration was dropped at Lashitselo about 5 km from Shidi. Hence the name of that area and the river was named after that ration drop. Lashitselo means “the river where ration was dropped”.

· The villagers bid farewell there and returned to Shidi. They were provided some supplies by the team.

· The next meeting with Indian authorities occurred the following year in 1962 with the construction of the Advanced Landing Ground and establishment of an Army base at Dawodi.

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